FIDAfrique: We all produce knowledge

Coumba Fall, executive director of WARF gave a presentation on FIDAfrique network's successes and challenges to date. She reminded the participants of the objectives and scope of the network:
  • increase the impact of IFAD-funded activities by harvesting and sharing knowledge with the IFAD-funded projects and programmes and other partners and stakeholders
  • serve as a tool to support knowledge management and knowledge sharing to add value to the work of IFAD-funded projects and programmes
Coumba then provided a brief history of the network, which was established in 1999. The second phase ran from 2004-2007 and with this start-up workshop FIDAfrique has officially entered its third phase.

She mentioned that"we all produce knowledge" and proceeded with walking the participants through a SWOT analysis (Strengths, weakeness, opportunities and threats). Below is a summary of the network's successes:
  • the creation of a website which not only is hosting the content generated by the network but also hosts thematic e-discussions
  • training in knowledge harvesting (capitalization), conducting thematic capitalization
  • training on web editing and web content management
  • training on how to engage and participate in strategic thinking exercise
  • facilitating and providing backstopping in the organization of an innovation fair which show cased numerous innovative rural development projects
Network challenges:
  • KM focal points not always played a faciliation role
  • Lack of understanding of KM
  • Project programme work and budget did not necessarily include KM activities
  • Low participation by communities in knowledge capturing/harvesting activities
  • KM was often considered as non-priority activities
  • Little or no learning and sharing culture
  • Language diversity
  • Lack of access to ICTs and web, because of insufficient infrastructure (electricity, broadband etc)
  • Computers and other ICT-related tools are not adequately widespread within projects and often reside only with the project managers, which means other project staff do not necessarily have access to these tools
  • KM strategy to be included in project design
  • Workshops, face-to-face meetings, exchange visits as an opportunity to share and learn
  • KM to contribute to policy dialogue
  • Including KM in project programme of work and budget can lead to increasing efficiency and help better design future projects
  • Direct supervision and implementation support provides an opportunity to systematically capture learning and knowledge and share this both at project, national, regional and international level
  • Blend ICT and non-ICT tools to reach different audiences
Coumba informed the participants that in July 2008, FIDAfrique held a "strategic reflection" workshop. The workshop agreed on the following:
  • put in place a network steering committee
  • put in place a coordination mechanism - with two regional coordinators
  • appoint two national focal points
  • identify avenues to ensure financial sustainability of the network


Jack said…
It really great presentations about knowledge management and thanks for sharing.

Middle School Teaching
Anonymous said…
Thanks for this nice info, it's so useful for me.

Oes Tsetnoc